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Friday, September 24, 2021

Peloton recalls its treadmills following series of accidents

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Peloton is issuing a voluntary recall for all of its treadmill products — including both the Peloton Tread and Tread Plus — following a series of accidents that have resulted in multiple injuries and at least one death.

In the recall announcement today for the Tread Plus, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) elaborates that it’s received “72 reports of adult users, children, pets and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.”

The two products are being recalled for different reasons: while there are concerns with the Tread Plus that people may be pulled underneath the treadmill, the regular Tread has issues where the touchscreen at the front may fall off and cause injury. The CPSC says that the recall will impact about 125,000 Tread Plus units and around 1,050 units of the regular Tread (plus an additional 5,400 Tread treadmills in Canada).

The announcement is a serious about-face for the company, which as of late April was still fighting with the CPSC to avoid a full recall despite the fact that a Tread Plus treadmill was involved in the death of a child in March. The CPSC has already issued a warning to Tread Plus owners cautioning that the treadmill poses “serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.”

Peloton had previously refuted the CPSC’s reports, which it called “inaccurate and misleading,” telling customers in April that “there is no reason to stop using the Tread Plus,” so long as they were following Peloton’s safety measures.

Peloton CEO John Foley apologized for that decision in the announcement of the recall, stating that “Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset.” Foley also promised to work with the CPSC on new industry standards for treadmill safety.

Tread Plus owners will have the option to voluntarily return their treadmills to Peloton for a full refund through November 6th, 2022. Customers who want to keep their treadmill are being offered additional safety measures, too: Peloton will move the treadmill to another room in owner’s houses for free and is promising software improvements to automatically lock the Tread Plus after use and to add a four-digit PIN to unlock it for future use.

Tread owners, meanwhile, will have a similar option to return their treadmills, or they can wait for Peloton to come by and physically improve the touchscreen’s attachment to the rest of the treadmill to prevent future risk of it falling off.

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